Scratch Beer 76 - 2012 (Special HOPS)
Tröegs Brewing Company

Scratch Beer 76 - 2012 (Special HOPS)Scratch Beer 76 - 2012 (Special HOPS)
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American Amber / Red Ale
4 | pDev: 9.75%
Tröegs Brewing Company
Pennsylvania, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
Scratch Beer 76 - 2012 (Special HOPS)Scratch Beer 76 - 2012 (Special HOPS)
Notes: We’re excited to announce the release Scratch #76 – Special HOPS today! Special HOPS is an Imperial Red Ale brewed especially for the HydroWorx Underwater Marathon event to be held on Sunday, September 9 to benefit The Eagle Fund. Just like the highly-trained military units used for unconventional, often high-risk missions, Special HOPS is bold, aggressive and sure to sabotage your senses and bombard your palate with hop bitterness.
Reviews: 21 | Ratings: 62
Photo of FosterJM
3.65/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

1702nd Review on BA
Bottle to Speiglau glass

App- At first pour this comes out like a darker DIPA. Darkest orange there is then it does cross my mind. Maybe it's not a DIPA. Yep. Amber. A nice two finger head that is whites. Fades to a nice cling.

Smell- This was a good balanced aromatic beer. A good base of the amber comes out and then is balanced by some citrusy hops.

Taste- The amber on this one is very small. I enjoyed this beer. It wasn't as malt forward as I was thinking, the balance is there and the citrus like the nose comes out a bit more.

Mouth- A lighter medium body with a medium carbonation. The residual amber is there more so on this one. A bit more malt on the finish.

Drink- It was a good beer. Had a good amount of balance and good flavors. Troegs does some good stuff on the scratch series beers.

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Photo of maximum12
3.4/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to stormking47 for this bottle that arrived as an extra a few days ago. 12 oz. bottle.

Been a while since I had anything from Troegs. Pour is red on the spectrum with plenty of fizzaz. Nose bring out pine, orange, with a heavy dose of malts I always think of a 'red malts'. I wonder what variety they are.

Scratch Beer #76 certainly bangs the category nail on the head. <Insert standard description of an amber ale here>. Really. PIney hops, heavy sweet malts, orange gives it a touch of different. Not tough to drink.

Pretty standard for an amber, not bad, but not much to write Congress about. Pretty good beer.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.42/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this at Anthony's served on tap chilled in a large tumbler style sampler rocks glass.

The color is deep crimson with light haze and moderately full beige cap which has great retention and sticks with some lacing on the glass. The smell is very interesting with piney hops and slight tropical aroma and perhaps a light ruby red grapefruit essence in the mix. The feel is good with balance of malt and light toasted grain anchoring the mild pepper and moderately bitter hop textures with medium carbonation and relatively low alcohol presence with subtle astringency and mild yeast creaminess with just enough sweetness for an amber.

The flavor is great! I expected some kind of hops from the nose, but there is plenty to leave a lingering flavor after the first swallow. The malt has a nice toasted flavor which comes off as almost roasted or nutty with light caramel sweetness to round out the blend of piney and lightly citrus hop tinged tastes. The flavor is moderately full and is almost a dead ringer for Nugget Nectar in some ways - probably the hops utilized. I really liked this prequel and recommend this to anyone who likes either Hopback or Nugget Nectar.

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Photo of RonfromJersey
4.2/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark amber body, decent clarity, topped by three rocky fingers of oatmeal colored froth.

Aroma of oranges, mango, and pine is strong, clear and inviting.

Thick rich caramel foundation on the tongue. Quickly engulfed by juicy fruits in the mango/ orange family. Burst of pine. Big bitter bite, which lingers on and on.

Firm medium mouthfeel.

Troegs creates an imperial red with a lot more malt forward then Nugget Nectar, and it works. Sample while you can.

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Photo of russwbeck
3.48/5  rDev -13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: This looks like a big amber ale. Amber pour, fittingly enough, with a nicely sized white head. Only a little bit of light gets through, as this is a cross between hazy and clear. The lacing is as sticky as it gets, coating the side of my Mad Elf glass.

S: The aroma is a cross between a typical, malty amber ale and a big citrusy IPA. Some piney hops rest in the background. The palate is readied for an assault of hops my this smell.

T: And the assault is there. The beer doesn't start hoppy, you're welcomed by the maltiness and slight fruit I'd expect from an amber ale. The difference is towards the backend and at the finish. Citrus blends with one of the most resinous tastes I've ever encountered with a beer and finishes with a dry hop explosion. I'm really impressed by the taste, the issue is the flavors don't really work all that well together. The middle of the beer, while containing an awesome amount of hops, is a strange combination of malt and hop resins that just don't work in my opinion.

MF: Thicker body than I expected with a perfect amount of carbonation. I've found Troegs to always get the body of their beers spot on. The dry finish rests on the palate forever. I found the beer to be decently drinkable, but the portions of the taste I said I disliked wore on me after a while.

O: I liked this beer, but Troegs has done better things with hops. I'm not typically a fan of amber ales, and I think that is coming into play here. Good beer, not worth tracking down. Probably will give some of this 6pack away.

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Photo of MDDMD
3.68/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-amber color with a nice off-white head and good lacing

S-citrus, malt, caramel, light pine

T-malt, caramel, grapefruit, moderate bitter hop finish

F-medium body with moderate carbonation, smooth

O-a decent amber ale, would prefer more hop character, but overall good drinking

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Photo of drtth
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a bottled beer that I got to purchase at the brewery a couple of days ago.

The clear amber reddish beer pours out into a shaker pint glass with a 1" off white head that persists well and leaves modest lacing on the sides of the glass.

The aromas include some tropical fruit, some citric and orange zest, with some pine way in the background.

The flavors are much as expected from the nose with the citric zest and tropical fruit as well as some definite hop bitterness. Blending in with all that there's some nice malt sweetness that servers as a nice counterpoint to the bitterness. The finish is fairly long and ends in some dry bitterness that invites another sip.

On the whole a really nice beer that makes me glad I have most of the six pack left but that also makes me sad since the Scratch Series from Troeg's are typically one-off beers.

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Photo of thain709
3.85/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Served with a semi-clear amber body and a pillowy, white head...the head was two fingers tall and slowly fell to a full cap...there was chunky lacing left behind

S - Fresh grapefruit and other bitter fruit rind came through at first...quickly taken over by a strong and solid caramel backbone

T - Strong fruit flavors come out with first sip...the hops add the fruitiness along with a nice bite...grapefruit still reigns supreme with a little lemon and orange rind coming in behind...there is still a strong malt presence...a few toasted notes come out, but the sweet caramel plays a bigger comes out more as the beer warms

M - Medium bodied...bitter, syrupy, lingering sweetness

O - I wanted to like this one as it was for a good cause, but I found myself comparing to Nugget Nectar...I mean how couldn't you? In the end, I found it to taste like "old" Nugget Nectar and I didn't want more than one

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Photo of John_M
4.05/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Hudson St. Stackhouse during BBW.

The beer pours a reddish amber color with good head retention and lacing. The nose is attractive, as I pick up considerable orange citrus, along with tropical fruit and a hint of underlying pine and spice. This beer smells pretty nice. The flavor profile is every bit as good; while there is a consdierable sweet malt backbone to this beer, there's more than enough hoppy bitterness as well to counter it. The alcohol is well integrated into the flavor profile, and the finish is long, bitter and still quite smooth. There's a hint of alcohol at the very end, which is the only thing that mars the quality of this beer (in a very small way).

Really liked this one. There was a lovely juicy hop flavor that was very attractive.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
4.2/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap in a 10 oz chalice glass

Appearance – Served a red colored beer with a one finger tan head. The head has only a light level of retention, but when it fades it leaves a nice level of lacing.

Smell – The aroma is heaviest of a sweet and hop fruit aroma. The sweet fruits are largely orange and tropical in nature with the hoppy being largely of a grapefruit like smell. With these fruit aromas are other aromas of a pine and earthy hop as well as a very light caramel smell as well.

Taste – The taste begins with a bready base with large amount of sweet caramel and citrus as well as a moderate showing of citrus hop. The grapefruit citrus hop present in the beginning grows stronger in intensity as the taste moves on. It is joined by some hop flavors that were detected in the nose. A pine taste comes to the tongue followed by a more earthy taste at the end, which when combined with the other hp and sweeter flavors leaves a persisting hop, yet rather balanced taste on the tongue.

Mouthfeel –The body of the beer is on the smoother side with a carbonation level that is about average. It suits the flavors rather well and makes it rather easy drinking.

Overall – If you can find this one be sure to give it a go. It drinks very easy and has wonderful flavor transitions. Delicious and quite tasty.

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Photo of Pinknuggets
3.54/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a classic style mug

A: Ruby red amber color with an off white head, but not quite tan is about of 1cm. This looks like a red for sure.

S: Very malty sort of over powers everything else, i don't really know what else to add.

T: Follows the nose very malty upfront. I don't drink reds that often so i don't really know the style, but I like it and usually malt is turns me away.

M: A little oily but it goes down smooth

O: I don't drink reds often but I like this one a lot got it as an extra and I'm glad but definitely not my regular beer.

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Photo of JWU
3.91/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle poured into a snifter glass.

A- a clear ruby with a finger off tan head, head sticks around a little bit and leaves very nice lacing.

S- Earthy and piney hops dominate. Pine needles, hemp, and bit of mint. There is some grapefruit, but it's certainly not dominant. A bit of deep roasty/caramel malt is there as well.

T- Hops dominate largely here as well, and follow the nose. Very earthy. There is a base of roasty/dark caramel sweetness, but it really gets overpowered by the hop bill, and backend bitterness that really stick around. As I let it warm the malts came out a bit more, and this really started to shine and get pretty darn good.

M- A very nice combination of creaminess with a light to medium carbonation, and dryness on the backend from the hops.

O- Very nice, but again, could use more of the Red Ale characteristics to shine through.

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Photo of stakem
3.56/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a matching Troegs pint glass. the brew appears a perfectly clear color of mahogany with more than a finger of yellowish stained tan froth across the top. As the cap fades, it leaves a full wall of webby lace sticking to the glassware. A light swirl effortlessly revives about a finger back to the surface.

The aroma is fruity with a bit of dirty melon aspect coupled with almost a vegetative hop quality. There is a toasty sweet caramel grain inclusion that helps transition to a mixture of herbal components and mild alcohol esters. The more I smell this brew, the more it comes across with quite a bit of caramelized grain mixed with almost a minty hop aspect.

The taste is fruity with hops that are almost floral at times as they blend with the toasty caramel grain quality. More sips bring out a bit of bready grain that is at times faintly musty. The hops present a flavor that is mildly vegetative and almost reminiscent of cantaloupe. The aftertaste is quite bitter with a bit of pine like resins coupled with more herbal and musty flavors.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. I dont know if it is the hops or the yeast, but something about this just doesn't quite sit right with me as it warmed up. It isn't bad by any stretch, just has a strange flavor mid palate that lasts long into the aftertaste.

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Photo of Kegatron
3.95/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Pours a deep clear ruby in the glass, topped with a finger of thick off-white head. This maintains a smooth ½ finger, which drenches the sides of the glass with robust sticky lacing. The aroma smells floral, piney, spicy and green with bitter grapefruit. This is undercut by a sweet caramel twang that has a bit of a light toastiness to it.

The taste is juicy grapefruit bitterness that spreads resins; spice and a light herbal feel out into the profile. The hops are nicely balanced by smooth notes of sweet toffee and toasted grains. This is dry, resinous, spicy and bitter on the finish. The mouthfeel is medium to fuller bodied, with some sharpnes on the tongue and the rest of the feel being more of a smooth creaminess that flows relatively easy in the mouth. Alcohol warmth is present here and really draws some of the more aggressive aspects of those hops out.

This was actually a pretty well crafted Imperial Red in the flavor departments (more of a ripe tropical and herbal feel emerged as this warmed and helped add a little more smoothness) but the alcohol, which honestly felt more than 7-8% at times held this back in spots for me. I’m still glad that I grabbed a bottle though. It was worth checking out.

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Photo of orangesol
4.27/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served on-tap at the brewery.

A - Pours slightly hazy amber orange with a big, foamy two finger tall white head leaving sticky streaks of lace down parts of the glass.

S - Smells of pungent citric hops, fresh fruit - mostly grapefruit and some mango - caramel malt and some pine resin. It is really well balanced from start to finish.

T - Starts off with a strong citric hop bite slowly giving way to hints of fresh cut grapefruit, warm caramel and some sticky pine resin. FInish is still pretty bitter with a touch of sweetness, lingering on the palate long after the finish. Pretty similar to NN but a little more tame.

M - Medium body with moderate carbonation. Smooth, juicy feel from start to finish. The hops are stronger than they first appear to be.

O - I really enjoyed this one. There are definitely a few similarities between this and Nugget Nectar but I wouldn't say its a clone or anything. There is no doubt in my mind that Troegs is the undisputed king of the Amber Ale style. Get this while you can!

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Photo of jaasen64
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to stmgl01 for the awesome extra! 12oz bottle poured into Founders snifter. No bottle date.

A- Pours a fairly dark but slightly translucent reddish brown slightly amber color with a very thin off-white yellowish brown head that recedes quickly to almost nothing. Decent carbonation.

S- Citrus fruits- melons, papaya, a bit of grapefruit, some floral notes with a decent light caramel malt background. Average to slightly above average aroma strength, decent fruit smell but a bit too malty in the background. Would have liked the fruits to be pronounced a little bit more, but overall not bad.

T- Citrusy, lightly bready malts mixed with a light fruity hop presence of melons, light grapefruit, etc.. Overall not bad but bit too much malts that didn't balance the best in my opinion with the citrus hops.

M- Slightly juicy, a bit bubbly from the carbonation, abv a little bit present on the finish.

O- This was a decent beer, but nothing fantastic. Definitely not as good as Nugget Nectar, which is good but still a little bit over-rated in my opinion. This was a decent drinking beer, but probably not something that I would drink again anytime soon. Enjoyed trying it though.

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Photo of muletrane
4.55/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

8 days old I believe. Thanks to my boss for the gift!!!

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Deschutes tulip.

A: Beautiful amber color. 1 finger of creamy off white almost tan head. Some nice lacing as well.

S: Lots of fruity notes with a touch of sweet caramel.

T: A great balance between the fruitiness and the caramel maltiness. Finishes with some piney bitterness. Not a real dry bitterness.

M: Perfect mouthfeel! Medium body with just the right amount of carbonation and lingering flavor.

Overall this a GREAT amber ale! Troegs really knows how to make this style! Well done!

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Photo of boralyl
4.03/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours an inch of light tan head that has good legs and leaves some nice lacing. The beer is clear with a medium to dark red hue.

S - The aroma starts off with a nice citrus, followed by a mix of caramel and grapefruit. The citrus however is the stand out.

M - Medium in body with moderate carbonation.

T - The taste starts out with a blast of citrus followed up by some toffee and caramel. There is a little bit of grapefruit before a big citrus finish. The perceived bitterness seems much higher than the advertised 40IBU, however it's not overly bitter. It is really well rounded.

This is a great beer. It's different enough in all categories from their Nugget Nectar offering to stand out on it's own.

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Photo of RnRManifesto
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a Troegs Nugget Nectar pint glass. Nugget Nectar? Hmmm, very fitting.

Scratch 76 (Special HOPS) is basically Nugget Nectar dialed down, and I love what they did with it. With less than half the IBUs of NN, but all of the flavor, this is an incredible beer.

Pours a deep amber/red color with over a finger of beige head that sticks around a while. Great sheets of lacing remain on the sides of the glass and a small amount of head sticks around throughout.

Smell is citrus, grapefruit and maybe orange. Sweet with some malt backbone. Caramel. Love the smell of this. Smells a lot like Nugget Nectar.

Taste is juicy, with citrus twang, hop bitterness and malt goodness all together in perfect harmony. Absolutely great. Reminds me so much of Nugget Nectar, but as I said, toned down just a bit.

If you are anywhere close to the Troegs brewery, you should pick this up. It's really hitting the spot since Nugget Nectar is long gone and won't be back for another 4 or 5 months. Absolutely fantastic.

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Photo of Chaney
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this in a sampler and since I dug it so much, I ordered a full glass. 9/8/12

Being a military guy, I really appreciate the even in which this beer was honored.

Served in an Imperial Pint.

A: Poured an pumpkin/crimson color with a very cloudy disposition overall, and a massive foamy off-white foamy head.

S: Hoppy, and with a red velvet cake batter-like quality, and with a VERY intense whole leaf hop scent.

T: Grapefruit infused into a malty, toffee-like tunnel. This was a tongue bruiser, for sure, but the red, amber, velvety soup gave the inner hophead in me lots to feed off of.

M: Infinitely bitter, like a pine cone and grapefruit dipped into a dark chocolate-raspberry vat of goodness. Ridiculous lacing!

O: Troegs is still the king of the American Amber/Red category...

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Photo of Tucquan
4.13/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this on 2012-09-07 in Columbia, PA. It was just released today.

A - Pretty clear ruby-caramel with a 1-finger firm tan head and very good sheet lacing.

S - Rich malt, citrus, touch of pine, hop floral. Not real strong but quite nice.

T - Rich, dark munich malt. Citrus, some caramel and pine with a good dollop of citrus zest bitterness (IBU = 40). Dries nicely. The aftertaste is a well-balanced mix of lingering roasted malt, hop cone flavor and bitterness. The perceived bitterness is higher than the 40 IBUs would indicate. Very enjoyable.

M - Medium-heavy body and medium carbonation. Thick/syrupy (in a good way - not cloying), lightly prickly and resinous. Chewy; almost oatmeal-stout like. I really enjoy this feel.

O - I enjoyed my solo pint at the brewery earlier today and so I brought a couple of 12 oz bottles home. Just cracked one open after a nice hike. It tasted the same as it did in the brewery and if anything, it had a stronger aroma; probably because the brewing and food aromas in the brewery partially-masked the smell of this beer. Good stuff.

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Scratch Beer 76 - 2012 (Special HOPS) from Tröegs Brewing Company
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 62 ratings